What's the difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder?

They look basically the same, sound basically the same, smell basically the same and are spelled basically the same—so what's the difference between regular cocoa powder and Navitas Organics Cacao Powder? It's a great question—and one with a fascinating answer! (Well, we think so anyway.)

Cocoa powder and Cacao Powder start with the same single ingredient: the cacao bean. Where they differ is in their processing, which then creates a world of difference between their nutritional benefits. 

Regular unsweetened cocoa powder is typically made using a method called alkalization, which is also sometimes called "Dutch processed" cocoa. Alkalizing washes the cacao beans with a potassium carbonate solution to make them taste less bitter and acidic. But interestingly enough, bitterness in foods is an indicator of abundant nutrients—in cacao's case, antioxidants. So when the cacao undergoes alkalization, it makes the bean sweeter at the expense of its nutritional value!

While regular, "natural" cocoa powder and alkalized/Dutch processed cocoa powder still have a bit of a bite to them, some cocoa powders taste sweet. These have had sugar, dehydrated dairy and other ingredients to make it taste appealing to our tongues.

Navitas Organics Cacao Powder is none of these things. A true superfood, our cacao ("kuh-kow," not "cocoa"!) powder is not alkalized, which allows it to retain its unique antioxidants, minerals and other beneficial nutrients. It's what keeps nature's superfood a superfood!

Want to learn more about our cacao processing? Check out this article next: Is your cacao raw?

 

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